Suspect charged in triple-fatality crash

Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodela
Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodela

WICHITA, Kansas – Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodela was officially charged after being arrested Sunday under suspicion of a hit-and-run accident that left three dead in west Wichita.

Gandara-Rodela was presented with multiple charges, including three counts of second-degree murder, with alternative charges of involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, and two counts of aggravated battery.

The collision happened around 2 a.m. Sunday in west Wichita. Police say Gandara-Rodela was speeding in an SUV when he ran a red light and struck a car.

The collision killed three passengers in the car, identified as 21-year-old Emily Phillips, of McPherson, and Jake Hallacy and Zachery Taylor, both 26 and from Valley Center. The driver and a fourth passenger were injured.

Gandara-Rodela’s bond was increased to $500,000 by Judge Joe Kisner.

The preliminary hearing for Gandara-Rodela is scheduled for August 14.

To read the story about the circumstances of the accident, click here.

To see the families’ reactions to the accident, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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